Russia’s S-300 Air System Delivery to Syria
DAMASCUS GOVERNORATE (SEPTEMBER 30, 2018) – Growing tensions among middle eastern countries reach unprecedented levels as the gridlock between groups on the delivery of the S-300 air system has concluded with Russia’s delivery of the air defense to Syria.
The S-300 is a surface to air system regarded as one of the best air defense systems in use right now in the world. The S-400 also exists but has only been in limited service (introduced 2004). The Syrian Arab Republic’s military currently consists of the S-200 systems, which were highly popular in the Soviet-era yet still perform effectively to an extent today.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated Russia would take a number of measures to boost the safety of its troops in Syria including the deliveries of the S-300 system. This is all in cause of the wake from the Il-20 crash earlier this September, in which the S-200 Syrian system shot down the aircraft and killing 15 servicemen. Russia’s Ministry of Defense stated that this is at large Israel’s fault, as they were ‘seeking protection’ as missile avoidance behind the Russian aircraft. It is also key to note that Israeli logistical centers only informed Russia around a minute before the attack in the area. The Kremlin claims that not enough time was given in the deconfliction timeline, hence the aircraft shooting is at fault with Israel.
Israel’s Netanyahu believes the delivery of the air systems is extremely irresponsible. “I think there’s a desire on both our part and Russia’s part to — to avoid a clash,” he states in his interview with CNN. Among other parties with opinions include that of Egypt, which supports the delivery in order to “protect territorial integrity” of Syria and would promote escalation. Whether or not the involved parties will escalate following activation of the S-300 system is yet to be known.